Between inflation, supply chain woes and higher prices, it’s going to be a tough market for homebuyers.
The last 22 months have been some of the wildest in real estate history, as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the speed and intensity of recent trends. Home prices surged to record-breaking highs. Interest rates dropped to historic lows. And, amongst it all, the new era of online home buying and selling took further root. On top of that, just about every contemporary macro-economic trend — from inflation to supply chain woes to labor shortages — made an appearance in the 2021 housing market, increasing the advantages of existing homeowners, daunting prospective homebuyers and, ultimately, further widening wealth inequality in the US.
Though no one can predict what the next year will bring, we’ve asked some industry experts to help us read the tea leaves. Perhaps most significantly, home prices are expected to continue to rise, though at a slower rate than last year. As such, the 2022 housing market will present challenges for new buyers looking to get a foothold. For those looking to sell, new technologies like iBuying will continue to streamline and simplify real estate transactions. And existing homeowners will likely have another year to capitalize on rising property values through refinancing — if they haven’t already.
Experts also predict an extension of two major 2021 trends: low housing inventory and supply chain issues, both of which will continue to hamstring construction and renovations. Meanwhile, there are two new spectres on the scene: inflation and rising interest rates. “For a homebuyer, 2022 is going to require patience and strategy,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist the National Association of Home Builders.
“If you think you’re going to wait on the sidelines for the market to cool off, that usually doesn’t work,” cautions Karan Kaul, senior research associate at the Urban Institute. “Timing” the market is a tricky enterprise, and prices seem unlikely to decrease meaningfully any time soon.
With the caveat that political and virological developments can wreak havoc on this unpredictable corner of the economy, here are some of the major factors experts see influencing the housing market in 2022.
By : Alix Langone CNET